Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Living for Myself, Not My Mother
image by YC
Living for Myself, Not My Mother

My journey into care began the summer before my junior year of high school. That’s when my family—never all that stable—began to unravel. My mom lost her job, and my sister came home from college to get treatment for her depression. My dad fell under the pressure of being the only financial supporter of the house, and began to drink to the point where he would lock himself in his room and I would not see him for days. My mother also stayed in her room a lot and stopped shopping, cooking, cleaning, and parenting.

For most of my life, and those last couple of months in particular, I never knew what chaos would be waiting for me when I woke up and got out of bed. We often had no money and no food. On more than one occasion, the electricity got cut off, and I could not do the daily electric-powered lung therapy I need to do for my disease, cystic fibrosis. Finally, I decided I needed to leave. On November 7, 2011, I moved out of my parent’s house and in with my best friend’s family.

When I moved out, I knew my relationship with my mother would forever be changed. I suspected that she would never forgive me. But I was unable to live in the conditions of that home, and I needed to think about my future.

Things at home continued to fall apart after I moved out. On December 4, my father was admitted to the hospital after passing out from drinking and being stuck in his room for several hours, unconscious on the floor where he’d fallen. He never fully recovered from the head trauma, and he died 10 days later. Soon after that, I officially went into the foster care system.

Ever since I moved out, my mom has felt victimized. In her eyes, foster care wasn’t about me getting the help I needed, but about government workers calling her a bad parent. At our very first family meeting in court after I went into care, shortly after my dad passed away, my mother dropped a bombshell.

“Mrs. Tecsy, we would like for both you and your daughter to engage in individual therapy and then work your way toward family therapy and dialectical behavior therapy,” the judge said.

“I am going to be moving to Florida, so I cannot commit to this engagement,” my mother announced. She had never told me this plan. And on September 13, 2012, once my mom finally moved, family reunion was no longer achievable. She has consistently refused to cooperate with anyone in the foster care system.

Planning My Future

It was time to set a new goal—Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement, or APPLA. APPLA is a safety net for older children in foster care to get them ready for adulthood. . .

[read more]